“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” — William Shakespeare
Alas! It’s true! Summer is always far too short for our liking. It’s hard to say goodbye to the lazy, hazy days of summer. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate list of end-of-summer traditions and tips to help your family celebrate the summer season and mentally prepare for the school year ahead.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood teeming with other kids and families, you’re all in the same boat right about now. School is starting for everybody, so why not make a big deal about it together? Here are some ideas for a neighborhood party!
- Ice Cream Social: Pick up several tubs of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream. Encourage everyone to bring their favorite fixings, assign some “scoopers,” and have fun making personalized ice cream sundaes.
- Water Fight: Stock up on water guns and toys now while they’re on sale. Fill tubs FULL of water balloons. Divide your teams. Set a parameter for your battlefield (and a few ground rules to keep people out of the ER) and have fun!
- Bonfire: You can’t go wrong with a bonfire –especially one with s’mores. And while the original s’more is a classic American treasure, why not try experimenting with things like Oreos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups instead of graham crackers and chocolate bars?
- Outdoor Movie: Throw some blankets on the grass or ask attendees to bring their camp chairs. Hang a king-size white flat sheet on the side of your house and set up your laptop projector. Then, invite everyone over for a family-friendly, make-shift drive-in movie experience.
Friends and neighbors are important. Family is everything. Ultimately, these last days of summer are all about capturing moments together before school, sports, and all the extracurriculars take your family in different directions.
- Summer Photo Shoot: The summer evening light is beyond perfect for portraits. Get your family pictures taken! This moment in your family history will never come back around, so capture it while you can.
- Play the Tourist: You know how you say you’re going to try that museum across town but never actually do? Ofttimes, the plight of the locals is that they don’t know their own city. So, play the tourist and check out the hot spots down the street.
- Beach/Lake Day: Whether it’s on the beach or at the family lake house, take in a long, slow, no-pressure day by the water. Read a book. Take a nap. Build sandcastles. Spend time talking about your favorite summer memories. Whatever you do, be intentional to savor every single moment together.
- Hit the County Fair: One of the best parts about the end of summer and early fall is the county fair –an Americana tradition. It’s fun for all, from games and carnival rides to not-so-healthy but wonderful food and 4-H exhibits.
It was more fun talking about, well, fun –but there are lots of little things to do to prepare your family for re-entry into the routine of the school year.
- Adjust Bedtime: Summer is all about late nights, but that doesn’t work out so well during the school year. So rather than throwing the family into earlier bedtime cold turkey, start integrating it back in a few days before school starts.
- Shop: Stock up on school supplies, school clothes, and sports paraphernalia now instead of waiting until the last minute. Why not set aside an afternoon or evening for each child and get all their supplies? That creates a perfect opportunity for some one-on-one time!
- Fill Out School Forms: Ensure you have completed all the necessary school forms filled out and dropped off early. Imagine –no long waiting lines at the school office on the first day of school!
- Homework Space: Create a quiet, quiet, low stimulus space in your home that’s designated for homework time. While your older kids may already enjoy doing homework in their rooms, this is important for younger children who are still learning discipline when it comes to homework.
You know that at Hamilton Connections, we’re all about connections. Relationships at work and home are everything. So that’s why we encourage you to embrace and cherish these last few weeks of summer!